En español | New Hampshire’s Sept. 13 primary will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and state legislature.
What's new this year?
Redistricting has redrawn the boundaries of certain state legislative and U.S. congressional districts. These changes may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.
- Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available to people who can’t vote in person because of a disability or illness, work, caregiving commitment or other acceptable excuse.
- Early in-person voting: New Hampshire does not offer formal early in-person voting. But if you qualify for an absentee ballot, you can cast one early at your city or town clerk’s office.
- In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, Sept. 13; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. All polling sites are open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Some locations may offer extended hours.
How do I register to vote?
By mail: Registration by mail is available if you have an approved reason for not doing so in person, such as a religious observance or disability. If you qualify, call your city or town clerk and ask that a registration form be mailed to you. Include a copy of your driver’s license or other valid form of ID when returning your application. You will need a witness to sign your absentee-voter registration affidavit. Check with your city or town clerk for local deadlines.
In person: Fill out a voter registration form at your city or town clerk’s office. You’ll need to show various forms of ID proving your name, age, citizenship status and where you live, such as a driver’s license and U.S. passport. A full list of acceptable IDs is available on the secretary of state’s website.
You can also register to vote at your polling place on Election Day. But registration deadlines before the election vary by community and will be somewhere between six and 13 days before Election Day. Check with your city or town clerk for local deadlines.
Online: New Hampshire offers online voter registration if a disability, such as blindness, prevents you from filling out a form by hand. Call your city or town clerk to request an accessible online absentee registration form and for information about local deadlines.
Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primary?
Yes. You can only vote in the primary of the party with which you are registered.
If you’re an undeclared voter, you can choose to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary, but not both. After the election you’ll remain a registered member of that party unless you fill out a request to return to undeclared status, which you can do before leaving your polling place.
How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?
You can vote absentee only for approved reasons, such as a disability or work commitment. Those who have an illness or have been advised to limit their exposure to the public also may request an absentee ballot.
Absentee-ballot requests must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 for the primary and by 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 for the general election. But you’re encouraged to apply for an absentee ballot as soon as you know you’ll need it.
- By mail: Print an application from the secretary of state’s website, then complete and mail it to your city or town clerk’s office. You can also call your city or town clerk and ask that an application be mailed to you.
- In person: Go to your city or town clerk’s office to apply for a ballot, or print an application from the secretary of state’s website and bring it with you.
- Online: Only voters who are unable to fill out a printed form due to a disability, such as blindness, may request an accessible absentee ballot online. If you qualify, you may receive and mark the ballot electronically and may return it to your city or town clerk by mail, in person or by using a delivery agent. Contact your city or town clerk for more information.
How can I return my absentee ballot?
Place your completed ballot in the inner envelope and sign the affidavit on the outside. If you have a disability and received assistance, the person who helped you must sign an acknowledgment that appears on the absentee-ballot application and on the affidavit. Seal the inner envelope before placing it in the outer mailing envelope. If you’re including absentee-voter registration forms and proof that you qualify, place those documents in the outer envelope before you seal it.
- By mail: Send your ballot to your city or town clerk with proper postage. It must be received by 5 p.m. on Election Day.
- In person: Hand-deliver your ballot to your city or town clerk by 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 to vote in the primary and by 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 to vote in the general election. On Election Day, absentee ballots will be accepted only by mail or from a delivery agent, such as an immediate family member, until 5 p.m. Your delivery agent may be asked to show ID and fill out paperwork to deliver your ballot.
Track your absentee ballot through the state’s voter information portal.
Can I vote in person before Election Day?
If you qualify for an absentee ballot, you can cast an in-person absentee ballot at your city or town clerk’s office. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 for the primary and 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 for the general election.
When is Election Day? When are polls open?
The primary election is Tuesday, Sept. 13; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., but extended hours vary by location. Check your polling place or contact your city or town clerk’s office for exact hours.
You may cast a ballot as long as you were in line before polls closed.
Do I need identification to vote?
You’ll need an acceptable form of photo ID, such as a driver’s license or U.S. passport, to vote on Election Day. The secretary of state’s website has a full list of acceptable forms of ID. If you don’t have one with you, you can sign an affidavit, have your photo taken and proceed to vote.
What races are on the ballot?
- U.S. Senate: the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan
- U.S. House: both seats
- State Senate: all 24 seats
- State House: all 400 seats
- State Executive Council: five seats
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Aug. 16 with information about voting in New Hampshire. The guide was first published on Aug. 5, 2020.
Also of Interest
- Follow AARP's political coverage at aarp.org/elections
- Keep up with local events and AARP advocacy efforts at states.aarp.org/new-hampshire
- Text NHVOTES to 22777 to receive a one-time text message with a link to New Hampshire voter information. Message and data rates may apply. Terms apply: https://aarp.info/tcady